It looks like Forsyth County’s loss will be the state of Georgia’s gain.
Within days of the announcement that Buster Evans was stepping down from the position of Forsyth County School superintendent after seven years on the job, Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Evans was being appointed to serve as assistant commissioner of education for the state Department of Corrections.
While we hate to lose Evans locally, it’s good to know that the talent and passion he brings to educational endeavors isn’t going to be lost at the state level.
Seven years ago Evans inherited a great school system, and then managed to make it even better despite serving during woeful economic times. As superintendent he proved that more could be done with less while still improving overall quality.
During his tenure, Evans demonstrated a willingness to try new ideas and a commitment to innovation. And more often than not his ideas worked, as evidenced by higher test scores and rising graduation rates.
Through the Investing in Education Excellence contract with the state the system promised improved accountability if allowed flexibility in meeting of state mandates. Under Evans leadership the system delivered, proving that intelligent local decision making in directing of the system could result in higher levels of performance.
Evans leaves behind a system that any educational leader would welcome the opportunity to serve, which isn’t always the case when a superintendent departs in Georgia.
The departing superintendent would be the first to say that he alone is not responsible for all the progress made by the school system during his tenure, and he would be right. There are hundreds who deserve credit for the quality of the county schools, but it’s hard for great things to happen on a consistent basis without exceptional leadership from the top.
In his new role, Evans will be working to improve educational opportunities for those in the state prison system in an effort to reduce the rate of recidivism that too often means prisoners, lacking in education and work skills, get out of prison only to return again.
We wish him well with that endeavor, and can appreciate the importance of his new position for all of Georgia. But we’re definitely going to miss him around here.